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Clean

After losing her husband to a heroin overdose, Emily Wang fights to overcome her own addictions and to be reconciled with her estranged son.
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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

40

Empire by Alan Morrison

Bit of a mediocre drama from writer-director Assayas despite some good turns, not least from Nick Nolte and Beatrice Dalle.
40

Variety by David Rooney

Dramatically pallid and unconvincing. Despite being written for her, the director's "Irma Vep" muse Maggie Cheung seems oddly miscast here and is ill-served by an emotionally underpowered screenplay that rarely gets beneath the surface of the character's problems.
100

Christian Science Monitor by David Sterritt

Can a misguided adult start afresh with a new set of values and priorities? This ambitious drama, directed by one of France's most resourceful filmmakers, explores that crucial question in depth and detail.
75

Entertainment Weekly by Lisa Schwarzbaum

Not your average divorce gift: Clean's writer-director Olivier Assayas created the role of recovering rock-world druggie Emily Wang for his ex-wife, art-house/action-pic royalty Maggie Cheung (In the Mood for Love).
70

Village Voice by Michael Atkinson

Hitting the ground in his ultra-naturalistic mode, Assayas only uncages his star's formidable smile once or twice and never demands our empathy, making Clean a uniquely pungent portrait of dependent personalities and the strain they put on the social weave.
75

The A.V. Club by Scott Tobias

The film gets its distinction from the performances by Cheung and Nolte, whose scenes together are suffused with loss and unexpected mutual compassion.

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